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Koehler, Ohio House Pass Legislation to Prohibit Sale of Dextromethorphan to Underage Kids

February 25, 2021
J. Kyle Koehler News

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 9, legislation sponsored by State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) that would prohibit the sale of medicine containing dextromethorphan to anyone under the age of 18 without a prescription.

Koehler noted the importance of this legislation after learning that kids across Ohio are mixing medicine containing dextromethorphan with alcohol and sugary drinks in an effort to become intoxicated. According to Koehler, kids looking for a cheap way to get a hallucinogenic-type buzz associated with what they call “robo-tripping” are mixing alcohol with dextromethorphan or drinking large amounts of it “straight up.”

“House Bill 9 will serve a dual purpose if it becomes law. First, it will help keep this product out of the hands of young teens on a Friday or Saturday night. Second, it will act as an educational tool for parents, as it might set off an alarm as to why their teen child keeps taking so much cough medicine out of the cabinet,” said Koehler. 

Koehler noted that industries that produce dextromethorphan are asking the Ohio legislature to pass this bill, as 22 other states have already adopted similar legislation. 

This legislation has had seven hearings in the House and four hearings in the Senate over the last two General Assemblies and has yet to have one testimony in opposition of the bill. It is supported by the Ohio State Medical Association, Medical Association, Nationwide Children’s Hospital American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.